Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Onward, Comrades!, delivered at the Rand School New Year's Eve Ball, New York, New York (December 31, 1920)


"Onward, Comrades!"

The hour has struck for the Grand March! Onward, comrades, all together! Fall in line! Start the New Year with a cheer! Let us join the world's procession marching toward a glad tomorrow. Strong of hope and brave in heart the West shall meet the East! March with us, brothers every one! March with us to all things new! Climb with us the hills of God to a wider, holier life. Onward, comrades, all together, onward to meet the dawn!

Leave behind you (sic) doubts and fears! What need have we for "ifs" and "buts?" Away with parties, school and leagues! Get together, keep in step, shoulder to shoulder, hearts throbbing as one! Face the future, outdaring all you have dared! March on, O comrades, strong and free, out of darkness, out of silence, out of hate and custom's deadening sway! Onward, comrades, all together, onward to the wind-blown dawn!

With us shall go the new day, shining behind the dark. With us shall go power, knowledge, justice, truth. The time is full! A new world awaits us. Its fruits, its joys, its opportunities are ours for the taking! Fear not the hardships of the road- the storm, the parching heat or winter's cold hunger or thirst or ambushed foe! There are bright lights ahead of us, leave the shadows behind! In the East a new star is risen! With pain and anguish the old order has given birth to the new, and behold in the East a man-child is born! Onward, comrades, all together! Onward to the campfires of Russia! Onward to the coming dawn!

Through the night of our despair rings the keen call of the new day. All the powers of darkness could not still the shout of joy in faraway Moscow! Meteor-like through the heavens flashed the golden words of light, "Soviet Republic of Russia." Words sun-like piercing the dark, joyous radiant love-words banishing hate, bidding the teeming world of men to wake and live! Onward, comrades, all together, onward to the bright, redeeming dawn!

With peace and brotherhood make sweet the bitter way of men! Today and all the days to come, repeat the words of Him who said, "Thou shalt not kill." Send on psalming winds the angel chorus, "Peace on earth, good-will to men!" Onward march, and keep on marching until His will on earth is done! Onward, comrades, all together, onward to the life-giving fountain of dawn!

All along the road beside us throng the peoples sad and broken, weeping women, children hungry, homeless like little birds cast out of their nest. Onward march, comrades, strong to lift and save! Our brothers watch us from barred windows! With their hearts aflame, untamed, glorying in martyrdom they hail us passing quickly, "Halt not, O comrades, yonder glimmers the star of our hope, the red-centered dawn in the East! Halt not, lest you perish ere you reach the land of promise." Onward, comrades, all together, onward to the sun-red dawn!

We march through trackless wilds of hate and death, across earth's battlefields. O comrades, pause one panting moment and shed a tear for the youth of the world, killed in its strength and beauty-our brothers, our comrades tenderly loved, the valiant young men of all lands eagerly seeking life's great enterprises, love, adventure and the fair country of bright dreams. Under our feet they lie, mingling their clean young flesh with the soil, the rain and the heat! Over our murdered dead we march to the new day. Onward, comrades, all together, onward to the spirit's unquenchable dawn!

services icon Directory of Services

book icon Featured Book

JVIB Special Issue on Critical Issues in Visual Impairment & BlindnessJVIB Special Issue on Critical Issues in Visual Impairment & Blindness

JVIB Special Issue on Critical Issues in Visual Impairment & Blindness

Join Our Mission

Help us expand our resources for people with vision loss.